Daniel Cleft, born & raised in Knoxville Tennessee, was just a normal man like the rest of them. He joined the National Guard to help with paying for college, and stayed for 6 years before getting his degree in Architectural Engineering, and getting a job at FPC National.
When the apocalypse hit, all seemed to be well in the states. Not much was happening, he turned the TV off after breakfast and went to work like everyone else. All that changed when the outbreaks hit the States. Knoxville didn't do all that well in the outbreak, sadly. He grouped up with a few ex military friends, Rick, Kurt, Jose, and Erickson, and they took up shop in The Preservation Pub, a wonderful spot to defend. Nothing interesting happened for 9 months, supplies didn't run out, nobody got hurt, and they barely even had to shoot anyone.
Then they got attacked by bandits. Rick, Kurt, and Jose get injured, bad. Nothing they could fix, and they fell victim to the infection. With Erickson booking it north, Dan had no choice but to put them down himself.
He began travelling on his own for about a year, and eventually got to the coast, where he boarded a small boat to Europe. Ending up in fuck nowhere Chernarus, all he could do from this point on was survive.